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Since the last decade of the 20th century, the dominant method of forensic DNA analysis – so-called short tandem repeat (STR) profiling – has been to compare a specific set of DNA markers from an unidentified crime scene sample with the markers from a DNA sample of a suspected perpetrator to determine whether they ‘match’. Two profiles match if the tested markers in the same locations look the same – meaning that the suspected perpetrator can be linked to the crime scene. There may be very legitimate reasons for the suspected perpetrator to have left their DNA, however; the genetic match says nothing about the kind of connection that the person has to the crime. Further evidence would be required to determine whether the suspect is in fact the perpetrator, such as witness statements, confessions, and other marks left at the crime scene.

Original publication





Book title

Law, Practice and Politics of Forensic DNA Profiling: Forensic Genetics and their Technolegal Worlds

Publication Date



201 - 216